Washing Feet
1996-97
Washing Feet, 1996-97
Video projection, marble block, light stand, foam board
Dimensions variable


At Heathrow Airport in London I noticed an Indian man having his feet washed by a younger family member. The situation startled me, and the image stuck with me. It developed into an idea for a work in which I would wash the feet of family, friends and strangers and record the images on video using two cameras, one at head height, the other focused on the feet and the basin in which they were washed.

In the summer of 1996, I was a resident at the Headlands Center for the Arts, San Francisco. I used the occasion of the Center’s open house to wash the feet of forty-seven people. This footage was edited so that images of the heads and feet are fully in sync as they are simultaneously projected. From the start, I imagined projecting the heads on a screen and the feet on a block of marble. Ideally it is installed in a large, otherwise empty gallery, big enough to convey the sense of a public or civic space.

 

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Washing Feet
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